…but it was not to be. Adam and Eve were enticed by a malevolent being who placed doubt in their minds about the goodness of God. The same lie in the Garden of Eden is the lie of the devil today. “God is keeping something good from you because he knows that when you drink it, smoke it, inject it, chew it, or do it, you will be transported in ecstasy and be like God.” That lie cost the human race paradise. Today it is costing tens of millions their health, their happiness, their families…their very lives.
From paradise, the human race rapidly descended into moral chaos. They turned from God and began worshipping statues made in their own image, then animals, birds, and reptiles. Their inner beings became darkened. They reveled in sexual perversions, and God gave them over to a depraved mind. In the words of the Apostle Paul written to the Christians who lived in the capital of the Roman Empire in the First Century A.D., “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things, but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:28-32 NIV.)
Consider how far the human race had fallen in a few thousand years from paradise to the debauchery of the Roman Empire. Yet God had a plan then and a plan now to redeem the race and to give people trapped by evil desires a way out.
In 593 B.C., the Prophet Ezekiel, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, outlined God’s future covenant plan for his special people, Israel, “I will sprinkle clean water on you; and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities, and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezekiel 32:25-27 NIV.)
God had not abandoned the human race. His future plan is to destroy the present material universe, and create a new heaven and a new earth. But for now, his plan has been to send to earth a second Adam, who would live without sin and be the perfect human being that the Creator intended to bring forth at the beginning. Then as the representative of the entire human race, this perfect second Adam would take upon himself all of the sin, the evil, the cruelty, and the degradation that the entire human race experienced throughout history. As our representative, Jesus Christ, the second Adam, would experience a horrible death and, at that moment, taste the infinite spiritual agony of separation forever from the Father. Then God declared, “My justice has been served, now my love will triumph.” One by one, by tens, by hundreds, by thousands, by millions, those people who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus and who make him Lord of their lives will become part of a new creation—a new human race. They will be given a transformed spirit. Then God will place His Spirit within them to enable them to keep His laws. He will cleanse them from their previous sins and adopt them as His sons and daughters. They will form the company of the redeemed who will be the residents for all eternity of the new heaven and the new earth which God is planning to create. Although they are not totally free from the pulls and urges of their human natures, day-by-day they are being given by God the power to put to death their old nature, to resist the temptations of the devil, and to live victoriously as new creatures in Christ. Some transformations are more dramatic than others, here is one of them…